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  • I often feel like these name changes work in some way, especially when it's dropping a second name or something - I can barely remember Big E having the Langston, for example.

    But I just don't think that 'Theory' is a good name.

    Comment


    • There is one thing WWE could do though that would solve this issue:

      Bring back the Iiconics

      Comment


      • The mononym thing is - like so many of the issues that people bring up time and again - something that won't matter to the majority of the fans left in the WWE orbit, but subtly works to push out the disaffected, and helps prevent more people from getting into it.

        It's not like it's a huge deal in itself, but it goes back to that thing of many, many subconscious little signals that what you're watching is bull and you don't need to take it seriously. At this stage, the people who are left are the ones who don't care about those things, but I suppose if there is any interest in growing beyond the current crop (or, in making some of the unhappy fans they have happier with what they are watching) then those things will still matter.

        But I think you can file most of the long-running gripes the same way to be quite honest.

        "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Prime Time View Post
          something that won't matter to the majority of the fans left in the WWE orbit, but subtly works to push out the disaffected, and helps prevent more people from getting into it.
          Other than your personal gut feeling, what proof do you have of this? Has there ever been a fan who said they dropped out of WWE or wrestling because someone changed their name or had a stupid name?

          I think it's another case of so many vocal people complaining about it that it feels like a big deal, but it just isn't. It's a made up thing that has no bearing on any part of it, other than giving r/squaredcircle an other reason to whine and still tune in next Monday.

          COACH, I'm just not buying that this is different from any of the others I listed. Because he's already been Austin Theory, he can't change it to a nickname, but people who debuted with a nickname it's ok? But Big E is ok because E stands for his name... these are not valid differences. It's no different than Diesel, Sting, or Undertaker. If the logic is that if he debuted as Theory it would have been better, then I suggest if they added a name to it after a couple of years, it would have been whined about online as well. No matter what, there's a segment of the fans that are immature enough to complain about all these dumb details, but still watch. And I 100% agree with Vince, their opinion does not matter. Bray Wyatt got "Husky Harris" chants when he debuted, and it died down, and these complaints will too. Just like Gunther.

          Change is ok. Not all changes will be to your preference. But it doesn't make it stupid or bad.

          Theory on its own isn't a great name, and that is the only valid criticism in my opinion. But he's literally had 30 seconds of TV time under this name. Powder gave an example of a catchphrase that works with it, and it's not even that great. There's potential for much more. Hell, this can lead into a gimmick where he wants to be called Theory, but no one listens and still calls him Austin (I'm aware that's not what's going to happen). It's very similar to the Doudrop scenario where it was dumped on, but then it turns out to have fit the story at the time. And like I said, she can change it anytime it's deemed needed, no harm done. Same thing here. Theory on its own is no worse than it being a last name, because that was nonsense as well. Unless it's a riff on Theodore or something, Theory isn't a real last name (or at the very least an incredibly rare one that most people would believe is fake). Mankind was a dumb name, and yet he made that work.

          I'll be honest, I'm sick of the complaints from people who never have anything positive to say but still watch. I just don't give any credence to their BS. And when I tune in Monday, and hear "Theory" on TV, I'll probably shake my head and move on. And in 3 months, I'll forget that his name was ever Austin. And so will everyone who will still be watching in 3 months.

          And if Prime is right and this for some reason drives anyone away (of all the controversial or lame things WWE does), I'll eat a hat.



          This might be more NXT related, but it's a topic under WWE as a company, but has there been an official announcement from WWE that Nash Carter has been released? I know it's been reported by all the dirtsheets, but usually I also hear of WWE making releases official, and that's something that either not happened or I missed it. Because if he hasn't been, he might just be suspended while an investigation is going on, similar to the original speaking out period.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post
            COACH, I'm just not buying that this is different from any of the others I listed. Because he's already been Austin Theory, he can't change it to a nickname, but people who debuted with a nickname it's ok? But Big E is ok because E stands for his name... these are not valid differences. It's no different than Diesel, Sting, or Undertaker. If the logic is that if he debuted as Theory it would have been better, then I suggest if they added a name to it after a couple of years, it would have been whined about online as well. No matter what, there's a segment of the fans that are immature enough to complain about all these dumb details, but still watch. And I 100% agree with Vince, their opinion does not matter. Bray Wyatt got "Husky Harris" chants when he debuted, and it died down, and these complaints will too. Just like Gunther.
            The difference is, "Big E" is an athlete's nickname. You could walk into an NFL locker room and overhear a player calling his teammate Big E. Without ever saying it, there's a subconscious logical progression from Ettore to E to Big E. I'd say the same for Ricochet. You know that's not what his mom and dad named him, but once you see his style of wrestling, it's a subconsciously logical that people would call him that.

            The change from Walter to Gunther was silly, unnecessary and ultimately causing fans to just chant a name that isn't his but only half a million people per week had watched him regularly. And at least it's a human person's name! Even Sting and Undertaker aren't this bad. Diesel is...and he was the lowest drawing WWE Champion in history. Was that on his name alone? No, but it didn't help.

            My problem isn't that they changed his name, even though I find that dumb. It's that they picked the worst one possible. Just give the kid a completely new name if you want to change it and do it in the exact same way. All I can picture is someone who's never seen Austin Theory, a kid with every tool necessary, sitting at home as he's introduced with "THEORY" on his chyron, and asking himself "what the fuck is Theory?". Or imagine he goes on Fallon. He's going to be introduced as just "Theory" and Fallon isn't going to roast him?

            Please remember, I give WWE a lot of credit for a lot of stuff. I like the product in general, and can often see the logic in their decisions even when a lot of other people pile on. But this just feels like cutting the legs off of a top level talent for no reason other than "Vince hates first names".

            This might be more NXT related, but it's a topic under WWE as a company, but has there been an official announcement from WWE that Nash Carter has been released? I know it's been reported by all the dirtsheets, but usually I also hear of WWE making releases official, and that's something that either not happened or I missed it. Because if he hasn't been, he might just be suspended while an investigation is going on, similar to the original speaking out period.
            They didn't make an announcement, but it's also not uncommon for them to not make an announcement about developmental talents unless they're part of a mass cut. From what I've seen though, it's not the "he said/she said" abuse allegations that got him cut, it's the Hitler impression.

            I just had a look though and Wes Lee is still listed on the roster page, but Nash Carter is not.

            That roster page....speaking of changing names. Jeez! Where do these UK people get their names. Here are some ripe for change, they need Vince:
            • A-Kid. ...A kid? That name shouldn't be on someone who's about 136 lbs
            • Sha Samuels
            • Teoman
            • Wild Boar
            https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
            My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

            Comment


            • As mentioned, I agree the name itself isn't good. But I genuinely don't see how it's any worse than the other examples. It's the same reason I don't bag on Luchasaurus, or Orange Cassidy, or those NXT UK names. Or hell, CM Punk. I remember after the Spirit Squad, the amount of hassle online about the name Dolph Ziggler. And yet... as silly as it is, it feels natural now. I get it, that's at least genuine names, but I still stand by the fact that real name or completely fake, it won't matter. Names don't matter as much to me as it seems others feel. But, so be it. I still say within weeks/months, the change will be feel natural or they'll change it again. It's a no risk move.

              For the UK people here, is the amount of hype about this Wales stadium event as big a deal as I'm reading?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post

                For the UK people here, is the amount of hype about this Wales stadium event as big a deal as I'm reading?
                For me it's pretty big and cool because I was only a couple of months old when SummerSlam '92 happened. I've been to a Raw, a Smackdown, a Live Event, and an NXT/NXT UK show so the only one left is a proper big time show. I'm definitely planning on going with a mate or two, whereas I've not considered going to the aforementioned shows since I went to them.

                The capacity will be about 70,000 and because of the long gap between big shows, it's been nearly 20 years since they even did a Rebellion/Insurrextion show, I think they'll fill the stadium pretty easily. And while it's in Wales and not Scotland I can see it being where Drew McIntyre takes the title from Roman Reigns.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by PEN15v2 View Post

                  Other than your personal gut feeling, what proof do you have of this? Has there ever been a fan who said they dropped out of WWE or wrestling because someone changed their name or had a stupid name?

                  I think it's another case of so many vocal people complaining about it that it feels like a big deal, but it just isn't. It's a made up thing that has no bearing on any part of it, other than giving r/squaredcircle an other reason to whine and still tune in next Monday.
                  Well, the way I framed it there wouldn't be a direct link between this one thing and people walking away, because if you re-read it I framed it as a whole series of things that make very little difference on their own but together add up to a much larger impression. It is, as I say, a series of dozens of small reinforcements when you watch every show that this is not a product that you'll like.

                  So no, I don't know of someone who has said they have left over a name change. But do I know people that complained about WWE mononyms, and title belts, and all those other things that come up as complaints on a regular basis, who no longer watch at all? Yeah, absolutely, dozens and dozens of them online, and into double digits in person. And in general, it's not like there was one big, lame moment that pushed them out. I think that's the wrong way of thinking about it, at least with fans who have watched for a long time. It seems much more like it's an accumulation of micro-impressions that eventually just wears people down. Disgust from a bad segment fades, but it's hard to overcome the kind of.... relentless exhaustion, that I've heard a lot of people describe the product ended up leaving them with.

                  The second part of this quote here seems to be the relevant bit to me. I think the explanation is that it doesn't matter to the people who are still happily watching WWE. But they are now a very niche group, probably about the same sort of size as the AEW niche in the UK and North America (when you factor in both ratings, and the fact that there is evidence of a bigger, disaffected audience). But in both cases, the fans seem to think they are more typical than they actually are. AEW fans have largely proven that by gushing over a product that struggles to find a bigger audience. It's actually even easier to demonstrate in the case of WWE fans, because this is a company that has lost most of its fanbase in these traditional markets. If you are still watching, you are necessarily one of the smaller percentage of people still watching. While WWE fans can take a shot at AEW for never having the audiences they've had, AEW can easily turn it on the head and say they've never actively lost an audience the size of the one WWE has. As someone who doesn't like either show, both of these things seem like fair shots to me.

                  Anyway, to reiterate - does it matter to those fans who still enjoy WWE? Absolutely not. By this point, the product is what it is and if you're enjoying it, you're almost certainly fine with all of these things. But when you factor in that we're talking about the rump of what was once a far bigger audience, it would not be at all surprising to find that these are the people who are unbothered by the choices that the company have made, would it? It seems to be the case, to me, that this is just one example of something that WWE do that does not appeal to many outside of their most committed fans.


                  I will say this - none of this means they have to do something different. They are profitable enough, and they clearly don't need to win back those disaffected fans, so they can do what they want. But it doesn't change that, it appears to me, there's a whole lot of things they could tweak about their presentation that would make it easier to grow that audience, if they wanted to do it, because the fanbase that what they are doing now appeals to is pretty damn niche.


                  As for the hype about the WWE event here - it's the sort of thing that is big enough, and rare enough, that it will bring lapsed fans back out of the woodwork. It doesn't seem to have completely broken through as a news story but at the same time I've seen plenty of people who don't watch WWE anymore say they'll go, and I imagine that even more long-time fans who wouldn't consider going to a house show or a RAW would stump up for this.

                  "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

                  Comment


                  • Speaking of name changes, I know that WWE is getting heat for changing Imperium's names to the names of Nazis...but every German name is that of a Nazi. There were a lot of them. This isn't some "dogwhistle" thing because maybe someone in the company is a secret Nazi supporter, as I've seen implied on Twitter.

                    Walter Hahn, Gunther's actual name, was a Nazi. That's probably why they went with Kaiser, since it's not a name.
                    https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
                    My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

                    Comment


                    • Yeah, that's always seemed like a massive reach. When you think about how many people would have been involved in it from 1933-45 It feels as if some people don't understand basic probability.

                      "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by T.O. View Post
                        There is one thing WWE could do though that would solve this issue:

                        Bring back the Iiconics
                        The biggest loss they ever had.

                        Comment


                        • I went to a WWE house show recently. The arena was mostly full, but it was a very small arena.

                          Some notes:

                          The Usos were very over and were mostly cheered. They wrestled like faces against the Viking Raiders.

                          Charlotte and Sasha were really over.

                          The crowd HATED Sami Zayn.

                          Ricochet and Jinder got good reactions.

                          Roman got the loudest reaction of the night, half boos and half cheers. After the match he gave a face promo, like "You showed me a lot of love tonight, and I give it right back. Thanks for coming out, drive home safe, and I hope to see you when I come back."

                          Comment


                          • Prime posted something in the Ciampa thread that got me thinking, and I thought it would belong here.

                            What if WWE started offering tiered contracts based on how much someone wanted to work? I'm not predicting or suggesting it should happen, because I know it would be a logistical nightmare. But with someone like Ciampa who isn't interested in working the full road schedule, and many others who have complained about the same thing, would there be a positive side of allowing people to sign for only 3 nights a week schedules, knowing it would likely lead to less of a push and a lower salary? You'd get the people willing to work the whole tour at the highest pay level and likely getting the creative preferences, and then people accepting the lower pay and less of a push, but not overworking their bodies past whatever limit they may have?

                            Comment


                            • The downside to something like that would be that the fan base would learn pretty quickly about this and know that those lower tiered wrestlers are basically jobbers. Yes we know that some of the people on the roster are that, but lower tiered people as you suggest would be exactly that.

                              Lower pushes, less creative, no real push….so they are jobbers.

                              Comment


                              • The only people that would know that are online fans. And online fans would already know this. Cedric Alexander is a jobber, we know this. So how would that change anything?

                                In the Ciampa thread, COACH made a good point about the current May schedule being drastically reduced. Maybe this discussion is moot if WWE is slowing down permanently on house shows. But I suspect the push for more shows will start up soon with the public stakeholders meetings, cost cutting releases, and Nick Khan business management style in general.

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